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Common Palm Tree Problems And Their Solutions – CWG Landscape

Palm trees are increasingly popular in Florida and are commonly used as part of a landscaping project because of their ability to accentuate any design. When palm trees are added to a landscape, any plain-looking garden can produce a tropical vibe. However, despite the palm tree’s popularity, it is not immune to problems. For palm trees to thrive, they should receive proper care and maintenance.

Common Palm Tree Problems

These common palm tree problems can be driven by several factors including the tree’s health, level of progression, severity and environmental difficulties.

Improper Care

While palm trees require less maintenance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t take care of them. The palm fronds are essential to ensuring that the trees will grow healthy. Removing them before they become fully grown will deprive the trees of getting the right amount of nutrition they need to grow. Fronds are also the trees’ source of energy. Avoid pruning more than 15% of the fronds as exceeding the limit can cause the trees to go into shock.


Lethal yellowing can spread from one tree to another if it’s not removed quickly. They can be spread by leafhoppers, those annoying insects that feed on the underside of leaves. The symptoms of lethal yellowing include yellowing of the palm’s fronds, blackening of the inflorescence and nuts dropping prematurely. Antibiotics can slow the disease’s progression. It is essential to find this disease early because it can be fatal to palm trees.


Palm trees grow when they receive enough water from the irrigation. Due to the fact that Florida is considered humid, those who are planting palms should make sure that the irrigation is neither above nor below the water requirements. Each type of palm tree has unique needs, so pay attention to each palm to be sure they are watered appropriately.

Black or Sooty Mold

Unlike usual mold, sooty mold appears as a black mold and it can be seen on the fronds of the palm. While not harmful to the trees’ health, it still has an unsightly appearance. One way to eliminate sooty mold is by removing the waste of insects, which is where mold thrives.

Fungal Infections

Florida has a warm, humid climate which is the perfect weather condition for fungus growth. You will know your palm tree is showing symptoms of fungus problems if it has a rotten trunk, unusual wilting and slow growth. Fungal infections can spread quickly and one way that you can protect other trees is by eliminating the infected one. You can also prevent fungal infections by cleaning the tools you use for pruning the fronds of palm trees.

Insect Infestations

Caterpillars, borers, leafhoppers, whitefly, aphids, and mites can affect your palm’s health. Insect infestations are barely noticeable because palms are so tall. When you do find this problem taking over your tree, consider using sprays to treat the infestations. This is also suitable for smaller species like the ornamental palms. For taller species, you need a systemic insecticide to address the issue properly.

You need a landscaping maintenance service company to take care of your palm trees for them to grow healthy. We cater to both residential and commercial landscapes. Call us so we can help you care for the palms.

CWG Landscape Inc.

931 SE 11th Avenue
Cape Coral, Florida 33990


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